NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Sunday, April 8th (All times eastern)
Utah Jazz (29-27) at San Antonio Spurs (39-14), 7 p.m.
(Sports Network) - A 10-game winning streak has the San Antonio Spurs atop the Western Conference and poised to clinch their 15th consecutive postseason berth when they host the Utah Jazz in the front end of a home-and-home set.
San Antonio last missed the postseason in 1996-97, the season before Tim Duncan arrived in the Alamo City.
The future Hall of Famer had 19 points, six rebounds, two blocks and two steals on Friday, as the red-hot Spurs cruised past the New Orleans Hornets, 128-103.
Manu Ginobili and Patrick Mills each added 14 points for the Spurs while Stephen Jackson and Gary Neal donated 13 points apiece as San Antonio's bench amassed 82 points, the most by any team since Orlando on Jan. 3, 2000
"At the end of the day it's about getting the job done," Jackson said. "It's about winning games. At this point no one is worried about who's starting and who's coming off the bench, we are trying to get wins. We are trying to see the bigger goal and that's winning a championship."
San Antonio shot 60.7 percent from the field and 9-of-18 from three-point range while improving to 22-4 at home this season. The win also moved the Spurs percentage points ahead of the Oklahoma City Thunder for first place in the Western Conference.
"They (San Antonio) have won championships and they know how to win," Hornets guard Greivis Vasquez said. "They have Manu [Ginobili], Duncan, and [Tony] Parker and everybody else doing their job, but they just played a lot harder than us tonight. They made some good additions and they are a good team."
The Jazz, meanwhile, are fighting for their playoff lives and are coming in after a big 104-98 win over Golden State on Friday behind Al Jefferson's 30 points, 11 rebounds and five blocks.
Devin Harris added a season-high 28 points and five assists in his return to the lineup for the Jazz, who have won two of three since a three-game skid. Gordon Hayward and Paul Millsap donated 14 and 12 points, respectively.
"We just played, we had to play the whole 48 minutes," Jefferson said. "We made some mistakes, they made us fight, but we just kept pounding the ball inside. Devin got hot and hit some outside shots, so they had to play honest, and we came out with the victory."
Utah is currently 10th in the West but just one game behind No. 8 Denver.
San Antonio has won five straight over Utah and is a gaudy 25-2 against the Jazz in the last 27 games in the series played in the Alamo City, including three wins during the 2007 playoffs.
04/08 10:39:04 ET